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Traditional Croatian Fishing Given Intangible Cultural Heritage Status

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Small traditional Croatian fishing has been declared an intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture this week, the Croatian Islands Parliament (Otočni Sabor) confirmed.

The news means that fishermen from Croatian islands and the coast will be able to use ‘traditional skills and practices’ which have been used for centuries without worrying about administrative obstacles which have crept in after the country became an EU member in 2013.

The decision was made at the 113th sitting of the Ministry of Culture’s expert committee on determining properties of cultural goods in Zadar after a proposal from the Croatian Islands Parliament.

One of the major changes for fishermen when Croatia joined the EU was that traditional nets, which had been used for generations because of the relatively shallow waters, were not compliant with the Common Fisheries Policy, or CFP, which was modelled mostly on fishing in the Atlantic.

(photo: Lora Tomas)

(photo: Lora Tomas)

Besides equipment, traditional Croatian fishing also includes, old knowledge, skills, beliefs, vocabulary and everything related to the tradition.

Croatia’s intangible cultural heritage list includes such things as traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festivals, knowledge and practices and means now that a focus will be placed on traditional fishing with resources put into education, promotion, protection and keeping the tradition alive.

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